Russula laccata

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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Russula laccata Huijsman syn. R. norvegica D.A. Reid formerly misdetermined in Britain as R. alpina (illustrated 80% life size) Cap 2–5cm across, hemispherical, later more or less flat; purple-black at first, later violet-purple to wine-purple or purplish-red; as if powdered at first then sticky when moist; half peeling. Stem 10–27×3–8mm, cylindrical to club-shaped; white; becoming furrowed or longitudinally wrinkled. Flesh white; taste burning hot. Gills rounded, sinuate, fairly closely spaced, margin entire; white or whitish. Spores 7.5–11×5.5–7.5µ; ovate-elliptical; warts up to 0.7–1.0µ high, mostly connected by fine lines, often forming a more or less complete network with many small meshes. Spore print pale cream (B). Cap surface with abundant dermatocystidia, mostly club-shaped, often with one, sometimes more septa, strongly reacting with SV. Habitat with dwarf willow above the treeline on Scottish mountains; summer to early autumn. Rare, vulnerable on Red Data List. Not edible. Note Henrici (2002) in his comments notes that there is no type collection, which makes the name R. norvegica invalid; Snari (1998) refers to this fungus as an upland form of R. laccata.